Hands-On with Hands On! Tangrams

Posted by Chris Cesarano, Oct 21, 2009 12:49

It’s kind of interesting to see how puzzle games have become an icon of casual gaming these days. They are not looked at as immersive games and thus aren’t taken as seriously by your average hardcore gamer. Yet often enough these games can be just as intimidating as any other, offering a series of combos, colors and other small complexities that determine what it means to win.

When I took hold of Hands On! Tangrams, I wasn’t expecting to become engrossed in the title. I don’t view myself as being the target demographic of puzzle games. Yet it turns out Tangrams is a lot like Tetris. The demographic isn’t just anyone, it’s everyone.

The concept is simple. Create a scene or image by completing tangram puzzles in the shape of an object appropriate for the level’s theme. I jumped in to piece a shape together and became stumped. I worked on it for a while, and despite finding no solution I didn’t want to quit. I eventually placed the game down to speak with one of the studio members, but I wanted to eagerly pick it back up and try again.

Hands On! Tangrams is one of those simple titles that triggers just the right nerves in your brain. It challenges you, and may even frustrate you, but you’ll always come back insisting to do a better job. It’s the same sort of fun you could get out of Tetris. Anyone can sit down, understand the concept in five minutes and then have fun working to complete it. The style is perfect for a handheld device focused on simple, quick yet fun concepts that anyone can enjoy.

The one drawback is that by using tangrams the game reduces the replay value. Once you’ve completed a puzzle once it may not be as difficult a second time. In addition, just as System Flaw from the same publisher, the game is available on Amazon and is set to hit other retailers later. Still, at fifteen bucks, the game is priced just right.

Hands On! Tangrams triggers a concept of game design that has been lost in the flash and glamour of big name titles. It doesn’t focus on “hardcore” or “casual” concepts, but on simple fun everyone can enjoy. If you played and loved Tetris as a kid or even as an adult then the game is for you. If you want to introduce your family to games it’s a great starting point. Just don’t cast it aside because it “is just a puzzle game”.

Rating: 5.0, votes: 6

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